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Subject: NEWS

BULLETIN FROM CONOR BURNS MP #76 Date: Friday, 4 November 2011 11:40:47 United Kingdom Time From: To: Conor Burns MP

In this edition:
Conor Burns MPs Diary Website of the Week: Home-Start Conor volunteers at local Marie Curie shop for Make A Difference Day Conor presses Dorset Police on contact plans Bourne Valley Fun Day The dangers of legal highs Photo news: British Franchise Association Parliamentary Reception Conor in the papers: Campaigners battle to stop cat attacks How to contact Conor Burns MP

Issue 76 Friday 4th November 2011

Since the past edition, Conor has:

Met with Dorset Police Contact and Communications Commander, Chief Superintendent Colin Searle, to discuss proposed changes in the way local Police communicate with and interact with the public. Attended the Bourne Valley Fun Day, in support of the Bourne Valley Action Group. Attended a meeting of local charity Home-Start, where he was updated about their achievements over the last year. Held a constituency help and advice surgery at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Albert Road, Bournemouth. Joined in national Make A Difference Day volunteering at the Poole Road Marie Curie charity shop. Attended the British Franchise Association Parliamentary Reception.

Website of the Week:

Home-Start is a UK charity offering informal and community support to families with young children across the UK to help children have the right start in life. The scheme started in Bournemouth in 1995 on a part time basis in a small office. Now, with 5 paid members of staff and a large force of volunteers Home-Start offers weekly support in a families own home with clear aims and objectives to provide the right support for that individual family. This charity is an important life line to young families in both Bournemouth and across the United Kingdom. Their free and individual help gives many children the right start in life.

Conor volunteers at local Marie Curie shop for Make A Difference Day

Conor learning the ropes from Poole Road Marie Curie charity shop manager Suzanne Devine. Taking part in national Make A Difference Day Conor spent time on Saturday 29th October 2011 volunteering in the Poole Road Marie Curie charity shop. During his time there he discussed the difficulties charities like Marie Curie face today with shop manager Suzanne Devine. Conor was delighted to be able to help out at the shop and experience firsthand the invaluable work charity shop volunteers undertake. CSV Make a Difference Day, is the UKs biggest single day of volunteering with events taking place a week either side of the main day, which this year fell on 29th October. This years focus was isolation and loneliness. The campaign is looking to demonstrate how giving time through volunteering with friends, family and neighbours and being an active member of the community can make people feel less lonely, anxious and isolated.

Conor presses Dorset Police on contact plans

On Friday Conor met with Dorset Police's head of Communication and Contact, Chief Supt Colin Searle to discuss their proposed changes in the way local Police communicate with and interact with the public. Like all parts of the public sector, Dorset Police are looking to reduce their costs and plan to do so without losing frontline officers. Part of this process is looking at the ways to change the station enquiry offices within Dorset stations. Chief Superintendent Searle and Conor discussed the results on the Polices consultation process and plans to maintain the vast majority of front desk services within the Bournemouth area. They also looked at options for future changes where services maybe merged together to increase efficiency and cut down the level duplication within the Dorset station enquiry office system. Commenting Conor said, "All parts of the public sector need to reduce spending and do more for less. I was very pleased to see how Dorset Police are working tirelessly to maintain front line officers, making their share of required savings elsewhere in the force. I feel confident that even with the changes to station enquiry offices in Bournemouth, the overall Policing service will to local people will not be negatively affected."

Bourne Valley Fun Day

Conor chats to representatives from the Dorset Fire Service at the Bourne Valley Fun Day. Last Friday Conor went along to the Bourne Valley Fun Day to help and support the Bourne Valley Action Group. The residents work together to improve their neighbourhood facilities and spirit. The event was Halloween themed with a number of creative activities for young people. Other community partners were there including the local Police Safer neighbourhood team, Dorset Fire Service and the Coastal Credit Union. The fun day offered a number of opportunities to educate children about the benefits of healthy eating. The whats in my soup stall offered young people the opportunity to try three vegetable soups and then guess which vegetables were used to make the soup.

Conor tries the whats in my soup challenge at the Bourne Valley Fun Day.

The dangers of legal highs

The growing problem of legal highs and the difficulties in controlling these sometimes lethal substances is moving to the forefront of government attention. Consumption of legal highs has increased rapidly over the recent years particularly within the teenage and young adult age bracket. Worryingly there has been a significant number of primary school aged children reportedly taking legal highs. A legal high is a drug that is not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act and is therefore legal to possess, these drugs often have a degree of psychoactive effect. Some are cleverly marked as being plant based natural highs something more natural and so less harmful than other drugs. They have often been treated with dangerous chemicals and have serious harmful side effects. The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is the main legislative control, it classifies drugs as either class A, B or C. Attempts to control legal highs through this classification system are hampered by the need for each chemical component to be identified in order for it to be listed and the need for a thorough assessment of risk before penalties can be applied. Legal highs are mixtures of compounds some of which have other legitimate uses such as fertiliser or bath salts and this makes legislating against them more difficult. The government is looking to tighten the current laws to make the production and sale of these drugs more difficult. Currently they are often sold in shops as fertiliser or bath salts which are not illegal. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, (ACMD) the Governments drugs watch dog is keen to make a number of changes to the current way we attempt to control legal highs including: Modification of existing drug legislation to simplify the process of including rapidly emerging new substances, including the possibility of defining analogues of existing illegal drugs as automatically illegal. They want the government to ban the false advertisement of legal highs as bath salts or plant fertiliser and shift the burden of proof to suppliers to show their products are safe for human consumption. They also want the creation of a watchdog to make new drugs unlawful more quickly. They believe all these drugs should be banned, in the last two years over 40 new legal highs have emerged.

Commenting, Conor said, Legal highs are extremely worrying and with their consumption on the rise tougher action needs to be taken. I am strongly behind tougher legislation for legal highs and am currently looking into the current legislative proposals for controlling these drugs. I will continue to work on making these dangerous substances illegal.

Photo news:

British Franchise Association Parliamentary Reception

Conor at the British Franchise Association Reception in Parliament with Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage and Chris Gillingham a Mail Boxes Etc franchise owner and major employer in Bournemouth. During the reception Conor discussed the difficulties facing franchise owners today and what can be done to help.

Conor in the papers:

Campaigners battle to stop cat attacks

Stephen Bailey, Bournemouth Echo Friday 28th October 2011 A campaign has been started in Bournemouth to try to stop the number of dog attacks on cats. Campaigners urged councillors to sign their petition calling for a debate in parliament on giving cats the same legal protection as dogs. The West Howe residents presented a deputation asking for support at Octobers full council meeting held at the town hall. One told the council chamber that a dog had savaged three cats to death. Another resident said: Cats are not protected in law we need full rights and protection for cats. She said they wanted tougher penalties for dog owners whose pets hurt other pets, and asked councillors to write a letter of support. A letter will also be sent to the Prime Minister with copies of letters of support, she said. The deputation came after a spate of dog attacks on cats reported by the Daily Echo. Black cat Smudgey died after being attacked by a three-legged dog in Sussex Close, Muscliff, in September. Kess, a 13-year-old, was killed by a Rottweiler that burst into his own garden in Russel Road, Kinson, in May. And Tommy, a two-year-old cat from Branksome, Poole, was killed in a neighbouring cul-de-sac in August. Conor Burns, Bournemouth West MP, has met the concerned residents. He told the Echo: By common consent the Dangerous Dogs Act is poorly drafted legislation. The police have said it is open to interpretation. It is for the councils dog warden to act on reports of dangerous animals.

Three ways to contact Conor Burns MP:

By Phone: 020 7219 7021 By email: By post: Conor Burns MP House of Commons London SW1A 0AA
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Promoted by Andrew Morgan on behalf of Conor Burns, both of 135 Hankinson Road, Bournemouth, BH9 1HR